T H E W A I T

T H E W A I T ⏳

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“A Waterfall flowing

Ideas, Dreams

Visions & Change

Gushing along

Rapidly falling

Hitting the Surface

Slowing Down

Those Rapids

Flattening

Energy escaping

Those Dreams

Those Ideas

Merged & Move

The next Destination?

Unknown for now

The Wait continues…”

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The Tough Cookie x

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Do you sometimes wonder if you’re ever going to fulfil all those dreams, goals and visions that you have created for yourself and your life?

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Do you sometimes fear that time will run out and that you’re not capable enough to really reach them? Or succeed?

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I have SO many ideas and dreams that I feel deep within my core, that I just know are all part of my life’s mission in helping children/adolescents and adults heal from past experiences, to unlock the true potential within and unleash the authentic empowered self that is fearless. However at times I do fear that I’m not good enough, that I’ll run out of time, that my ideas will already be performed. Those fears can lower my mood, make me feel like a fool for dealing.

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*THEN* I Remember:

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💡Nobody was walked in my shoes, had had my past experiences exactly as I have so therefore I DO have a gift to give and share with the Universe. I can bring insight and awareness that perhaps others cannot as it is based on my unique experiences and perspective. That surely is enough of a reason to keep believing and creating the life I see for myself.

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💡God’s plan, yes I remember that there IS a higher power at play, that if I ‘just be’, slow down, breathe and TRUST myself and this power to guide me, prepare me and work through me that those opportunities will present themselves to me provided that I am willing to work hard and take those risks as they come my way. Prayer helps me to keep believing and wash those fears away.

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💡I don’t know how much Time I do have on this earth so why worry about it? I cannot control it so it is wasting my energy even worrying about it. I’m practising living in this moment for today and being grateful for each moment I’m alive. If I can do my best today that is more than good enough.

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#time #waiting #trust #slowdown #dreams #visions #breathe

JIGSAW

J I G S A W 🧩

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“Where’s that piece?

That missing part?

To fill a hole

To complete the whole?

So long I searched

Too long life on hold

Stop looking

Slow it down

ALL those pieces

Are NOT lost

Don’t need to be found!

Already within

Look inside

You may be surprised

By what you find 🖤”

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The Tough Cookie x

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For too long I was on a search for finding pieces of myself I felt were missing, to desperately fill that void I felt within. I searched, I waited for those pieces to be found and to be filled. I’m finally realising that those pieces are within, they’re not lost, they just need to be revealed and shine through. I DO have all the pieces I need within, I just need to learn to see them through my own eyes and allow them to be heard, to grow and to flourish. 🌹

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#pieces #jigsaw #gowithin #selflove #selfbelief #awareness #soul #thetoughcookie

What Wavelength are You Tuned into? 🎼🎶

This last week I had been trying to get back writing my blogs and I just felt I had a mental block and was lacking inspiration/ideas to write about. I never force a piece so I didn’t write. It frustrated me but I also learned a lesson: it’s impossible to force something that is not there or within. 

I had a shit week. Everything seemed to overwhelm me, I was exhausted from constantly being on the go, juggling different areas of my life at a time and felt extremely run down. My health was suffering, I wasn’t sleeping properly, my food choices were not the most healthy and I felt anxious and on edge. I didn’t train/exercise as often as I usually do. I think this happens us all. Our ‘problems/challenges’ seem to take over, the anxieties and insecurities become loud in our head, the overwhelming feeling that things will never resolve themselves and that you are STUCK. It can seem like those around you are ‘living the dream’, sailing through their lives and bypassing you! 

Part of the overwhelming feeling this week was connected to feeling quite isolated/lonely. I am not one to ever usually ask for help, to reach out to someone often with my ‘baggage’ or problems. I never want to be a ‘burden’ or sound negative to somebody else. Sure isn’t everyone dealing with their own case full of baggage? They don’t need mine. Ryanair would have a field day! What I did learn this week however is that true friends don’t view it as baggage, they don’t feel drained after listening, a true friend is happy to help out, offer advice and doesn’t see you as sounding negative or that you’re offloading. I did step into this role that seems quite alien to me, I did open up to a friend and explained how this last week was horrendous, how I felt physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted with not a lot left to ‘give’. That’s my problem. More often than not I place myself in the position of ‘giving’. I choose to do this, I love to help out people but it’s to my own detriment. There comes the time then when I’m floored, with no energy, feeling stuck and ‘not myself’. 

It’s such an Irish thing to ask someone how they are and to not even listen or wait for the response. If somebody does reply with I’m feeling shit or I’m not ok it very often stuns the other person. Why? It can make them feel uncomfortable. That’s not the answer you were supposed to give!!! Surely you were supposed to say “I’m Grand”?? This is probably one of my most detested words! Grand! What does it even mean!! I try not to ask anyone how they are anymore unless I have the time and attention to give to them to actually hear exactly how they are. 

This week I didn’t even stop and ask myself how I was. So many times when I become busy and feel tired I loose touch with my body. I don’t know how I feel because I avoid the feelings and don’t have ‘time’! We all have time to check in with our soul and to really listen to what it is saying. Now is everything really ‘Grand?’ It’s possible to listen to other’s souls also, next time when talking with a friend try to listen into the wavelength of their station and hear what music their soul is playing? Not the music they’re singing in their head but the notes and lyrics that resound from deep within their soul.

“Listen to Your Soul

It Sings a Special Song 

If Others Listen Closely

They too will Sing Along” 

(Deirdre Ward) 

Follow ‘Your Way’ 🥾➡️🚶🏻‍♀️

I’m not long back from completing the first leg of the Camino de Santiago beginning in France and crossing into Spain. I took a long, well overdue break from social media and blogging. The Tough Cookie needed to head off, reconnect with herself, nature and life! What better way than to contemplatively ‘Walk the Way’ for one week.

Lessons Learned along My Way:

Senses:

Before I had left to head off on my adventure I had felt very stressed, had lacked energy and vitality. I had deadlines for my college work, my own work with UNLOCK had been hectic and I realised that my head was so busy, clouded over and I lacked focus. Some might have thought I was crazy heading off when I had so many important assignments due two weeks later, however it was just what the doctor ordered! Do you ever feel like you’re on autopilot each day, not noticing the world around you, the people, the places? While I was walking, it honestly was as though my senses were reawakening – I could ‘see’ the beauty in nature around me, the diversity of people (such as Koreans, Sweedish, Americans, English, Africans) so many people from all corners of the world come and walk the Camino. You sometimes don’t realise how blurry your eyesight is while ‘running’ through the to-do list of a normal week.

Walking approximately 23km each day for roughly 7hours including little breaks along the way, I began to feel every fibre of my being, my muscles and limbs! I thought I had a reasonable level of fitness, that is until I began to climb the winding roads and inclines each day. During some steeps you wonder if you’ll make it to the top or not! Not to mention carrying a 10kg backpack in 22degree heat!

I will never forget the first day, I believe it was the toughest (walking along the Pyrenees) without sight of a café or shop for miles. It was a hot day and I feared not getting any food or fluids into me. After not much sleep and no reserves I remember spying a tiny trailer in the distance and hoping and praying it was someone selling water and some fruit! It was!! A man had his little stall of coffee, bread and bananas!! It was as if I had won the lotto, I nearly ran to meet him I was that weak with hunger! The smallest and most basic things can be the biggest and most important elements. It taught me a big lesson to be more grateful for food and water in my life. Those everyday essentials that we all too often take for granted.

Pain:

It’s said that during the Camino people go through various ‘stages’ – physical pain, emotional and spiritual pain. Most travellers were there to complete the whole five stages which would take over 5weeks. I admire those people as after one week I could really feel my body crying out to me! You begin to have aches in places you didn’t realise existed!! At some moments I wondered why I was doing it, why did I put my body under this pressure?! However the sense of achievement, the ability of the body in proving your head wrong is ALL worth it. Myself and my friend whom I travelled with did struggle physically at times but that’s when we uplifted each other, we offered up our pain through prayers and intentions for ourselves and others. The Way doesn’t have to be spiritual or religious however we did pray each day and for me it made all the difference. Being in such peaceful and calming surroundings in nature along with prayers, reflections on our life, our friends/families and pain that we have suffered to date helped feel as though we were cleansing our being, letting go of past hurt and clearing the way for the future we envision.

Belly Laughs:

Isn’t it awful how we can forget to laugh? Well I know I certainly can anyway! Sometimes I can take life too seriously, get all caught up with the ‘adult’ things that need doing and forget to embrace the silly/fun and child side of myself. During this trip there’s no mad nights out, no partying (which I’m not into anyway!) but boy did we laugh! On one particular evening I remember (photo evidence above!) being bent over on the side of the path in complete hysterics to the point I was fearful I’d wet myself!!! My friend had mentioned something that was funny from earlier in the day, she caught me unaware and I was falling over with laughter. It felt so wonderful it was just what my body, heart, mind and soul needed. Laughter helps us Live Longer, that’s for sure. It taught me to take more time out for those fun moments, to meet up with those people who are naturally humorous and help me laugh!

Prioritise:

As mentioned I had been feeling quite work out and exhausted before I had left. The trip really helps you to begin to prioritise yourself, your well being, physical and emotional. Myself and my friend while walking chatted about so many topics, we also had times of silence. I realised that I hadn’t prioritised myself within my life lately at all and all too often I put others needs first. Because your body and mind is tested and challenged within the walking/climbing/heat, you begin to have moments of epiphanies where your life becomes clearer and you can see what areas you need to look after more. For me it was most definitely about fuelling my social life, wellbeing and fun more. There must be a balance between work and play!!

Trust:

For the last day my friend was unable to walk due to her five blisters on her feet. She encouraged me to walk solo for that last stretch and she would meet me by taxi in the last village later that afternoon. I was worried, anxious and unsure whether I would be safe and ok on my own. I realised that I had relied on her to know the route and to guide me as she had done it previously. This was a big challenge for me! Some 31year olds might laugh at this but it honestly did scare me. I was up for the challenge! I left the room at 6:20am alone in a city searching and looking for the well known scallop shell or yellow arrow (signs to guide you on the way!) eventually I found some other walkers in the darkened streets and began the route. Very early I met a Sweedish lady who had lost her phone in the bushes. I began to help her and we found it. From that moment we sparked conversation and this was my new ‘buddy’ for the day. We conversed about all topics of life – work, family, loss, health, travel, romance! We clicked instantly and found out we were quite alike! This is the experience of the Camino, meeting people from all walks of life, sharing your story and connecting deeply! I knew she was sent to help me complete my final leg that day. That last day helped me to see to trust myself more, to know that I’m capable, safe and able to complete anything I set my mind to!

Since returning I feel much more refreshed, it has sparked a travel bug within me, to add more adventure to my life and most importantly to think of myself more often! It feels good to trust myself! I’ve got this 🙋🏻👍🌟💜

Focus Focus Focus 🏌🏻‍♀️⛳️💆🏻‍♀️

Lately I’ve been feeling quite agitated and stressed out with all that I have on, work commitments and the workload involved with my Masters. I have been feeling exhausted and lacking energy, allowing stress and negative thoughts run my life. I’ve given too much power to the negative and doubting mind. I’ve realised I don’t Trust myself enough.
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I love the work I do, I love taking on new challenges and any opportunity that comes along my way. However then I can feel a sense of impending doom e.g. I’m away tomorrow to Derry to a circus school (which is so exciting!) not to join the circus sadly but to provide training for them in helping them develop Resilience within their programmes for children. Knowing that I am quite a Resilient person I know what I’m taking about yet the closer tomorrow approaches the more anxious and negative I am becoming. Why? I’ve figured out its that I don’t Trust myself enough.
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Ways I’m Practising Self-Trust:
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Memories: I keep recalling other trainings I’ve facilitated, remembering how well they’ve went and how I was more than capable.
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Gentle Self-Talk: I am making a conscious effort to speak gently to myself, making powerful ‘I AM’ and ‘I CAN’ statements to rid my mind of self-deprecating phrases.
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Breathe: Some days I am so busy, rushing around organising work and avoiding to connect fully with my self and my body. It might sound daft but some days I find breathing slowly and slowing down my body difficult! Today I’m taking short breaks for 2mins to consciously BREATHE slowly and deeply!
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#anxiety #nerves #overcome #cbttherapy #ican #positivity #retrainthemind

Fight the FEAR 💪🏻🌟

Does FEAR of Failure & the Unknown Hold you back? Are you afraid to give it a go incase you let someone down or more importantly Yourself?

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I had signed up for a Half Marathon last weekend. I had it booked over a month ago. I was really contemplating cancelling it as I had been unwell & hadn’t trained very much. I hadn’t gone past 10miles in training so I really didn’t feel confident to be able to reach the 13mile mark. I was afraid of failing.

Then I thought about it & decided that I wouldn’t be failing, I’d go & remove any pressure on myself, that I’d enjoy the trip to Connemara & do the best I could. A friend of mine had also signed up so it was also going to be a sociable trip of catching up with great friends. I had been working & studying constantly the last few weekends so I knew I needed a little break away!

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Once I removed all pressure or targets from myself I didn’t feel as scared or worried about the race. My goal was to try to keep jogging without stopping. Mind you I did stop once during a never ending hill! In the past that would have even eaten me up! I have noticed that I’m not as hard on myself, I’m acknowledging my efforts & ability much more & I’m proud of myself for deciding to Try rather than Avoid! It really is Mind over Matter & Self-Chatter is crucial.

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Ways I got by:

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*Positive Self-Talk: What we tell ourselves really does affect what we believe & how we feel. At times when I felt tired or unsure if I’d make it through I repeated positive mantras to myself such as “I am strong, I am fit, I am fast, I am doing this” It helped me to keep believing in myself when all too often that doubting voice can creep in & tell me I’m not good enough.

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. *My Why: During it I kept the vision of the end Feeling in sight. I know the buzz I get after a race & the sense of achievement I feel. I kept connecting with that & visualising what the end line would look like & more crucially what it would Feel like.

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. *Gratitude: I know there is a LOT of talk out there about being Grateful & having this ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. Again there is Truth in what they say! I dedicated a mile to someone in my life. It kept me focused.

#nofear #goals

Eat Your Heart Out!! 💓

Do you Eat your Emotions? When you’re feeling upset, angry and stressed do you sometimes reach for that comfort food to fill a void, to satiate yourself? Does it Work?
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I think we all have ups and downs with Food, some of us restricting ourselves with food to keep a certain body weight and image, others binging on food to help fill that emotional hunger within.
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Yes I’ve been there, on both ends of the scale. And on those dreaded scales too!! Personally I know that when I’m triggered by someone or something, feeling stressed and overwhelmed I all too often reach for those carby and sweet foods to give me energy and help me function. I suffer with my gut health and it really plays havoc in moments like this. I consciously know those foods are the last thing that will help but there’s an inner subconscious drive that can take over.
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Ways I’m Helping myself with Emotional Eating:
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*Notice my Thoughts: When I can CATCH my thoughts, identify the triggers and know where they’ve stemmed from its easier to take CONTROL over them. I think when you have a reason it’s much easier to stop the urge. As humans we’re always looking for meaning and answers!
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*Connect: I’m practising whenever I have a craving or that inner urge to slow down and connect with my stomach to try and decipher whether it is in fact Hunger or whether it’s boredom/stress/emotions.
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*Gentle Approach: I try not to restrict myself too much, I don’t want to have a negative association with food as at the end of the day it’s what fuels us and is essential for life. I am learning not to beat myself up if I do fall off the plan. We are only human and that odd treat is definitely allowed and worth it!
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*New Ways of Coping: fins new ways to cope with the triggers and stressors in your life. Yesterday I became upset over an incident and yes I did have one or two sweet treats initially and then I decided to ‘Scribble Scream’ – a technique I suggest to parents and children all the time! I got out my paper and crayons and drew my feeling words that I wanted to scream out of me! I practice what I preach and it really does work!
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#healthyfood #choices #emotions #catchingthoughts

Plenty of Paths 👣

Do you sometimes feel like it’s one step forwards and two steps backwards? 👣
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Lately I’ve been feeling like progress is happening in lots of different areas of my life – career, personal development, finances, health, fitness, my adoption. However then I feel like some days I’m going backwards feeling exhausted with all I am juggling right now, feeling like my body is starting to scream out at me again some days, wondering will that finish line come for various projects, goals and when will more ‘balance’ be evident in my life. Ever have that feeling? .
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I only said while chatting to someone recently it’s like ‘feast or famine’ and I do believe in that hugely, I feel like when transformation is happening, when life is fully opening up for you it can seem hectic, it can feel like the ‘feast’! I believe fully in the universe providing and once you’re open to what’s on offer life can throw ‘everything’ at you all at once! Some days I feel like OK maybe I shouldn’t have ‘asked for’ so much if I knew it was ALL coming at once!! At times I find I can get carried away with that faster pace and that’s when my body and mind start to scream out at me!! They certainly know how to let me know to slow down. .
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Ways I’m finding Balance:
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*Saying No: I have struggled in the past and still today at saying No to people, various favours/requests. I love to help out and I get great satisfaction however not when I already feel snowed under with workload and commitments. I’m now learning it’s OK to say No not right now! .
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*Rest Days for Fun & Relaxation: Due to the nature of my work it can become really demanding, it can be fuelled with so many emotions each day. It’s crucial that I take plenty of time for Self-Care so that I can contain and carry the clients/families I work with within their emotions and stress. I’m taking much more time out for fun, me time and relaxation.
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*Trust: I have a wonderful Faith, without it I honestly don’t think I’d have overcome so many challenges on my path to date. When hope is gone, when people are gone what do you turn to? Some sadly turn to alcohol, drugs, food, harm etc for me thankfully I turn to Prayer & find Solace & Strength

Memories of Mam 💓

Are you in Pain and Hurting from the Loss of someone dear to you? Is there a special important day like ‘Mothers Day’ looming and it presses those buttons of Grief and Loneliness? .
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Loss and Grief are some of the most intricate and complex scenarios that Life throws at us. The Emotions that are attached can be varying and so difficult to handle. You can go through Anger, Frustration, Sadness, Loneliness, Peace and Happiness. .
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For me my Mothers death has been the hardest life event to date. Nothing prepares you to say that Goodbye no matter how much notice you have. For me my Grief didn’t really begin until very recently, our bodies and minds are so clever and can keep us in a Protective and Survival mode. This is so useful however at times it plays havoc with health and well-being. It’s much more beneficial to Allow those Emotions, those feelings of despair and heartache to surface and be released. .
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Notable days like Mothers Day, Fathers Day, a birthday or Anniversary can bring it all back to you in an instant. It depends on where you’re at in your healing & journey how you’re feeling about those types of days, whether you celebrate them, want to run and hide away from them or scream and roar the place down!
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This past week I’ve felt triggered by all the gifts and cards that are in ever shop you enter. A constant reminder of the (for me) two mothers that aren’t in my life. As I’m in the process of trying to contact my birth mother a myriad of emotions are surfacing. However it’s a good thing, a positive for me that I’m finally allowing myself to feel them and to let them pass through. .
Ways I’m helping myself on days like Mothers Day:
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*Celebrate: I’ve decided to mark my special Mother in some way on Sunday – go to her favourite spot, take time out to reconnect with all my beautiful memories of her.
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*Journaling/Write a Letter: Just because she’s not physically here doesn’t mean I can’t talk to get, tell her what’s going on in my life and share the gossip with her!
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*Photographs: Reminisce back my looking at the photographs of happy times, of memorable days and trips away as a family. Use them to spark conversations with my family.

Storms of Life 💨🌪

Are there some Days when you just feel like you’re living in a never ending Storm? Do you wonder when it will give up & die down? Does it sometimes feel like those Waves keep coming?
At different times in my life I’ve felt like this, that everything comes at once, that there can seem to be challenge after challenge. It can be quite rocky and stormy. You can feel unsteady.
However I always always trust that these incidents and times of Change are happening for a Reason. There has to be some Learning or Lesson involved. I do believe it’s important to Reflect on the Storm and ‘wonder’ what could it’s purpose be? Is there some underlying reason? Can I flip my thoughts around to see the Value in it? (As challenging as that can be!!)
Ways that Help me through the Storm:
*Journal/Reflect: Sometimes we can all be far too much in our heads, analysing the situation, getting stressed out with all the emotions that are flooding our system. It’s important to take time to ‘get out’ of our head, to release those inner ‘waves’ maybe through writing, through movement, through art/music. It can very often tell us a lot more about the Storm that what we’re feeling or seeing.
*Ride the Waves: I know for me I can be quite resistant of the more ‘painful’ and unpleasant feeling associated with the Storms that can show up in Life. I’m learning more and more that it’s crucial to learn to ride the Storm – to feel the feelings, allow them in and then release them free. In the last I would have tried to ignore and shut them out however they just remain within, festering inside. Let them Go!
*See the Light: Yes it can be really dark and bleak at times however keep your eyes peeled and alert to when you can start seeing little, visible signs of brightness and light entering. Again at times I know I can be so self consumed on the ‘problems/challenges’ that I can be blinded to the glimmers and flickers of light, of change. Keep watch you’ll begin to see the hope and light of a new day dawning.
#darknesstolight #hope #lessonslearned #ridethewaves #mentalhealth

Face those Fears Head On!

Does Fear get the better of You? Do you steer clear of new experiences, new challenges, really ‘going for it’ as it’s Safer to Stay Safe, not take a Risk, not Push Yourself? –
I used to let Fear get the better of me for SO long. Knowing my heart wasn’t in teaching but sticking at it, day in day out, getting through each day. I’ve always loved working with children and teenagers however it wasn’t giving me that excitement and enthusiasm each week. I DO BELIEVE you can find this within your work and career. I’ve finally found it with Psychotherapy & Play Therapy. Don’t get me wrong I still have my ‘moments’ when I am fearful, they’re less than they used to be so for me this is progress and I am determined to rid myself and life of ANY Fear soon! –
Is it Possible? I do believe it is. The Mind is such a Powerful muscle that needs exercising and flexing each day. It takes strength, consistency and repetition to reform wires that will lay NEW Foundations within, erasing the old ways and inner thoughts that are negative, doubtful and fear ridden. It really isn’t a quick fix e.g. I have been practising my mindset and reshaping my thoughts/beliefs for the guts of 4 years now and it still can be a challenge. Like yesterday I was at a meeting in a school in conjunction with the work I do. I was confident and knew exactly the points I wanted to communicate, however during the meeting at times my ‘Old’ thoughts and emotions of being within the school environment, hearing about the very real challenges that teachers, principals and parents face did trigger some old experiences for me. This isn’t to say the school or staff weren’t open or helpful, it was deep within my soul and body the reawakening of old beliefs that resurfaced. Like I said the Brain & Body are Powerful. –
If I allow my Fears of judgement, failure, of not being good enough get in the way of my Path, I wouldn’t reach the destination or the ‘light’ at the end that I know I’m headed towards and know is reachable. You Must Face Fears, it means you’re creating a Life that is full of Happiness, Light and Big Dreams! Go for It! –
Ways I Stop Fears:
*Catch Old Thoughts *Positive Self Talk *Face Them

Speak Up….Voice YOUR TRUTH 🗣

I’ve been practising noticing lately when I’m wanting to say something, voice my opinion, speak my truth and be honest yet fail to follow through fully. Sometimes it’s really difficult to face this challenge even though you know it’s how you feel, the right thing to say and do. Why do we get intimidated by what we think or feel may be confrontation? Does it really have to be confrontation or can it be your truth communicated in a strong yet non-emotive way! It doesn’t have to be all fiery and full of fear/anger/worry/frustration.

Through my personal therapy I’ve identified how in the past I allowed others to dictate my feelings, my decisions and my behaviour. Not always but I definitely swayed more towards keeping everyone else happy and not rocking the boat! What I didn’t realise was the extent of the damage that being that way could do to ME! When I don’t express my opinion, feel my feelings and go along with someone else where does my energy go? Where do my thoughts and emotions lie? Can you guess? WITHIN. I love teaching parents and educators about our body, the brain and what happens to suppressed emotions and energy. Emotions are energy in motion. Therefore they come into the mind/body, flow through it but they need a place to exit, to expel from the body so that we release that surge of energy. Research has show and I firmly believe that so many illnesses happen for this reason. We don’t communicate fully our desires, opinions and thoughts, whether they’re loving, angry or otherwise. This can be so damaging.

I’m learning and getting better each day at noticing and hearing my voice within, catching it and then allowing it to be heard. Don’t hide. Don’t surrender to another’s ways/opinions, embrace your truth and give it a voice.

“Is your Voice

Allowed to be Heard?

Or do You Shut it Down?

Speak Your Truth

Allow it Out

It’s Not So Scary

Keep on Practising

Then it’s Not

As Challenging!”

(Deirdre Ward)

Pointing Your Finger?? 👉👈

Related imageWhen we are hurting and in pain it can be so easy to point the finger, look outside of ourselves and blame another. We have ALL done it at some stage or another, I’m sure. In the past I found it extremely difficult to take responsibility and onus for my actions or words that may have been wrong and that may have caused upset. At times I felt that I had been hard done by and that I wasn’t fully to blame.

Looking back, what was behind it and why did I find that so difficult? It was down to the immense pressure that I put on myself to get everything just right, to be perfect, do everything the ‘right’ way and if I didn’t well I sure as hell wasn’t going to admit to it or be found out! I can remember as a child I would have been sneaky at times, when I say sneaky I do mean in an innocent way (see there I am again trying to portray it nicely!!) Is there any nice side to sneaky? I doubt it! OK I was sneaky!! I won’t worm my way out of that one. I used to quietly go about my business and plan how I could get that biscuit before dinner time or how I could sway my family to siding with me whereas in contrast my sister was being much more authentic and honest as she would either just take the biscuit or ask outwardly!

That was about the height of my sneakiness however now at 30 it has got me thinking as to why I felt the need to be that way at all? As you know most traits, beliefs, values stem from childhood and we can take on ways of being to compensate for something that we feel is ‘lacking’ inside. So where did the sneaky side of me stem from? How and Why was it fueled?

Reminiscing as I sit and write this, reflecting on my personality and my ways of behaving, I hate confrontation, I don’t like it when people fall out or there is tension. I do think that I believed it was a better way out to be sneaky, quiet and at times dishonest rather than getting the blame for something, feeling like you were a let down or that you disappointed someone. I HATE that sense that I have disappointed someone, let someone down, but surely that has to happen too in order for us to learn? Disappointments happen, they are a part of life and what I have learned is that these disappointments are not fully in our control.

You cannot control or please another, keep them happy and free from disappointments. They have their own EXPECTATIONS of how you should be and act in relation to them. I have my own EXPECTATIONS of how the other person should be and act with me. If there isn’t communication, if we are being ‘sneaky’, well how are you supposed to even know what thoughts that other person has, the level of expectation or their beliefs about how you should be? I do think that this lack of honesty, openness, communication is where blame begins. I also know from my own experiences that blame originates within. Probably most significantly this is the source as if you blame yourself, feel ‘not good enough’, feel like a fraud, a failure (Whatever beliefs and story you have told yourself) the expectations stem from this for how you behave and how you expect others to behave in relation to you.

‘In Relation’  being another factor that must be taken into account. As they say ‘no man is an island’ it is all about how you relate and interact to yourself, with others and your world. With my work with children and parents each and every day it boils down to how I relate to myself, who I am? how I relate to others, how I see others around me and what I believe the world to be like? These are the Core Values that we form by the age of 3! These can still be the very reasons why at 30, at 60 at 70 years of age we can struggle and find our old ways creeping back in.

Where is YOUR FINGER pointing?

 

“Pointing Fingers

‘You’re to Blame!

It’s NOT ME

You just Can’t SEE!

You’re Blinded 

You Believe its ALL

One Sided!

Drop Your Hand

Take a Stand

For Honesty 

For Truth

Does it Stem

From Youth?”

(Deirdre Ward)

 

They’re not ‘All’ the Same…! 💑 👨‍❤️‍👨 👩‍❤️‍👩

Are you searching for love? Are you single and would like to go on a date, believe that you will meet your soulmate, that someone who just gets you, makes you smile and who loves you is out there waiting to meet you? Is there something holding you back in taking that risk? Have you been badly hurt previously? Do you find it difficult to trust females/males? Are you unwilling to even give it a go, give it a chance as it’s easier to stay safe for fear that you’ll be hurt?

The last two years I’ve been saying how I’d like to meet someone, how I’d like to go on a few dates again and meet someone compatible! The way the dating world has gone now is predominantly through online apps, swiping and interacting virtually. This for me was difficult to get my head around, how can you figure someone out, get a feel for someone as a person over messages/some photos online, sure it might not even be their photos?! I already find it a challenge at times to trust people and particularly men so this was dead against my beliefs, I always said how I’d like to meet someone in person perhaps at something we mutually like e.g sporting event, a concert etc! However one must move with the times too and give up the constraints that we can sometimes put on our lives if we want something badly enough.

I haven been analysing and teasing out the thoughts I have and how I behave when it comes to relationships with men. I realised I didn’t have a very positive belief about men, I told myself a story that I made up, from experiences that I have had. Once again I am seeing how the language I use, the story I make up in my head is not reality, and how utterly ridiculous and restrictive it can be living my life as if it were the truth and reality.

I realised that I’ve been telling myself that men will let me down, they’ll end up disappointing me, they can’t really be trusted and that they’re usually playing mind games and that very often they’re just out for one thing; what they can get from us.

Have you also got those opinions or views about men or women in your life? What happened in your past to make you write this type of script in your mind? What ‘gospel’ do you live your life by? What do you tell yourself to be true? How is it perhaps restricting you and blocking possibilities from happening in your love life/relationships?

It feels wonderful to be getting clarity around it, to see how and why I’ve formed these ludicrous beliefs and that it’s ALL made up. It’s NOT reality or truth.

I have been on and off on the app Tinder, I was dead against it and after one very brief conversation around Christmas with a man who was fitting into my story of how they’re just looking for one thing and what they can get from a woman I was DONE! I went into my automatic way of survival, I angrily deleted the app, was fuming inside, felt that yes my story and beliefs were being validated and that I knew men were like that. For some reason 2-3 days afterwards I decided that my actions were a bit rash and decided to give it another go. I immediately matched with someone, I received instant messages, he seemed normal, was interested in getting to know me and the conversation flowed. Gosh ok he wasn’t fitting fully into the story I know to be true; how they’ll let you down, are interested in only one thing etc! Could I be wrong? Could there be men out there who are decent, genuine and honest?! Could I rewrite my story and tell myself something different? Could I trust my gut feelings and sense of someone? Could I take a risk to see what happens and what if something wonderful could happen? If I decide no I’m too scared, I have to stay safe, I will never know?!

I have a date on Friday and so far so good, he has been in communication the last 5 days, is interested in the same things as me, seems like a kind and honest man, what if it could be different this time? What if my story needs rewriting? I’ve decided to retell the story to one that is trusting, believing, open and loving!

What have you been telling yourself about relationships? About men? About women? Is it holding you back?

“Take a Chance

On Another

Trust Honesty

Trust Love

Trust Kindness

Everyone is Different

Give that Chance

Take that Risk

It might just Be

A Beautiful Story

One Full of ‘Glory’!”

(Deirdre Ward)

What Follows You Around? 👥

I remember hearing a lecturer of mine talk about the Golden Shadow theory last year. Basically it describes how when we see a quality in another person or admire someone else for something e.g. someone’s courage, someone’s honesty or someone’s beauty; that we too hold that element or characteristic within us. I thought it was a lovely concept.

At times I feel we can get jealous and look at others who have some part of life that we wish we had whether it be the dream job, the house, the figure etc We’re only human and jealousy is part of our human existence, I don’t believe that there’s not one person who hasn’t felt jealous at some stage or another. Granted it’s not the nicest trait to have however if we look at it with the Golden Shadow theory in mind it changes my perspective of why at times I may feel that bit jealous or envious of another. More often than not it is something that you admire within another. Who do you look at and think to yourself, gosh aren’t they great, I’d love to be more like that, I’d love to have their determination/spirit/grit/honesty/kindness?

How would it feel to now view it that when those thoughts enter your mind and come to your awareness to think that it does because actually it is within you and it’s trying to surface? Trying to shine through? The reason that you’re able to see it is because it is within you? Does that change your perspective of how you now view yourself? Does it help to think of it in that respect and give you some hope that yes you too can be like that?

I was also reading a book during the week that talks about this idea of the Shadow. Carl Jung devised this theory in which he states that our Shadow is also that part of us that seems to persist but that is also unwanted. For example if you are aware of a behaviour or a trait that you have that is somewhat undesirable something you’d like to stop doing/change your behaviour or ways, he believes that this is what our Shadow entails. He also believes that until we fully embrace and accept this Shadow persona it will remain by our side and at times haunt us. I also see the truth in this. What have you been trying to give up? What have you been trying to change in your life yet always seems to return and at times you wonder gosh is it just part of me, am I always just going to be like this?

I think the idea of the Shadow is so apt for the beginning of this new year. I’m aware of changes I’d like to make that yes keep persisting and are part of that Shadow. I can’t escape it. For example I want to get into a better routine of wakening early and getting to bed early, I sometimes look at other people and their energy/determination who stick at their ‘healthy’ routines. So if I think of my shadow in both of the two ways

1. It is within me and within reach of achieving and

2. I have been trying to change my routine and make it happen yet I seem to slip back to the later nights, as long as it persists I too must persist in the changes I wish to make and stick at it.

What’s your Shadow showing or telling you today?